Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bicitaxis vs Cocotaxis

bicitaxis vs cocotaxis They both live and work in the different sides of nowadays Cuba. One represent the non-official side of it (bicitaxis). The other is just their counterpart created by the Government to try to break them into pieces when they couldn’t removed from Cuba’s landscape. But both live and work side by side, at the brink of the illegality and leftovers that Cuban officials had brought to our battered country in more than 50 years of tyranny.

Bicitaxis were the cunning invention of Cubans desperate to find a way of living outside the Cuban Government premises and they endured official criticism, unfair laws and prosecution all along the times. But they survived and they are a solid presence that anybody can’t avoid. They are the originals human-moved Caribbean invention of the 90’s and they came to stay in place. It could be forever.

Cocotaxis in the other hand are motorized and don’t have a well-known define list of fares. In fact, all of them had scrapped from their carcases an important piece of information: the fact they have to be paid in Cuban National currency instead of CUC. If you notice in the right side of the picture there is a part on the front side of the cocotaxi that says: ONLY IN MN (MN means National Currency, but it has been scrapped) Coincidence?

The actual fact is if you dare to take them you will find out that the same trip will be cost different from one to the others. That is where the cunning Cuban driving them play their part.

Bicitaxis, in the other hand, only are allowed to move nationals. A few of them take the risk and defy the Cuban Government rules and carry one lonely tourist in some little dark corner of Havana, where Cuban Police or any Government’s agent can’t see them. Cuban officials banned the private sector (Bicitaxis) to move the prized carriers of dollars: tourists.

Cocotaxis only answer the call of dollars in the name of CUC (alternative currency established by Castro to capture foreigners currency), and you can only see them in the flourished touristic areas of Havana, many times waiting patiently for the well welcomed tourist.

Bicitaxis are all over the places and they are under Government scrutiny and surveillance, like any private vendor in Cuba. But so far they had survived every battle against all odds, even the unfair rivalry of the official cocotaxis.

At the end, both are in the same side of the problem: breaking the rules established by the Government. After all, it is the Government who is in the other side of Cuba, against all of them and against Cuba.